Teacher Professional Development

Professional Development Opportunities 

The Forest Preserve District offers a variety of professional development opportunities and research-based instructional practices for teachers in natural sciences and cultural history. Teachers participate in hands-on learning experiences and receive resources for their classrooms or discovery at forest preserves on their own.  

Our opportunities are also open to home-school and nontraditional teachers. 

View our upcoming professional-development events from the list below.

 

Upcoming Professional Development Events

County-wide Teacher Institute Day - Blast from the Past: Witness Trees of Illinois ● March 3

County-wide Teacher Institute Day
Blast from the Past: Witness Trees of Illinois

Discover the special place witness trees have in the history of Illinois. Used by surveyors in the early 1800s, witness, or “bearing” trees, were sought out as landmarks for creating the earliest state land surveys and plat maps. Some of these trees are still standing today and can be used as a lens to bridge the gap between science and social studies, as well as connect us to our past. Join educators at St. James Farm in Warrenville where science and history converge. Through a variety of activities, learn the role these trees played in the urbanization of Illinois, why they are still important today, and how oak trees are critical to local ecosystems. Then complete a STEM-based learning project to catalog potential witness trees. Take ideas back to the classroom to get your students engaged in similar data collection projects at school. Major portions of this program will be outdoors, and participants should dress for the weather. Registration is free.

March 3
Friday
St. James Farm in Warrenville

Register now!

 

County-wide Teacher Institute Day - From Farm to Forest ● March 3

County-wide Teacher Institute Day
From Farm to Forest 

Farming is intimately tied to nature but is very demanding on the landscape. Through the lens of conservation and hands-on activities, investigate the positive and negative impacts that humans have had on the landscape and discover how preservation, conservation and restoration cultivate biodiversity. Participants will learn instructional strategies and build on natural history and heritage content knowledge to supplement classroom curriculum. The activities conducted in this training can be reproduced and applied directly to classroom settings.

March 3
Friday
Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago

Register now!

 

Amazing "Teacher Institute Day!" I have been teaching 20 years at multiple levels, so I have been to many institute days. This one wins as the best ever. Why? Knowledge of staff, their kindness and accommodations, pacing and variety of activities, and ease of communication and access for information before and after the program day.

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Teacher Institute Day 2019

It was great to add more knowledge to my “teacher tool box.” I gained personal knowledge and classroom ideas to use with my sixth graders. This was the best Institute day I’ve had in the 11 years I’ve been a teacher. Thank you, and I really do plan to reach out to your experts in the near future.

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Teacher Institute Day 2019

The instructors took the time to explain the content to us in a thorough way and show us how it could be applicable to our students and community. I was surprised to see all of the program offerings available to schools.

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Teacher Institute Day 2019

Loved the event. Nice day and I learned a significant amount about the research being done to preserve aquatic wildlife in Illinois and ways to engage students in science. They did a wonderful job speaking to how this can be incorporated in the class.

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ENTICE Workshop 2021

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